Born in 1961 in Morocco, of French descent, Philippe Métois arrived in Vanuatu in 1984, camera already hanging around his neck. The diversity of the islands and their scenery, the cultural wealth of the country… what more could you wish for if you were a young artist in search of beauty and originality? Unbeknownst to him then, Philippe had come to stay.
While checking out the ideal meteorological conditions for underwater or aerial photography, always on the lookout for what might be going on in the country in terms of events, the purpose is invariably the same: to record beauty for all eternity. The beauty of a country, of its magical or Dantean-like scenery, from its lush tropical marine life to the very tip of active volcanoes, the beauty of its traditional rituals untouched by the modern world, the beauty of its people, often describd as the happiest on earth.
Whereas Philippe has visited most of the islands in the country and taken an abundance of photographs, the island of Tanna holds a special place in his heart and inevitably, in his work, which includes close to twenty thousand shots taken over a period of nearly thirty years. Hence his recording and reporting of the Toka ceremonies is of immense historical value.
A vast number of these photographs are available to the general public in the form of postcards or philatelic stamps. Large-size printouts are frequently on display in Port Vila or Sydney, and projections often accompany cultural exhibitions in Vanuatu.
Philippe, who belonged for many years to the agency called ALTITUDE of Yann Arthus Bertrand, is now offering us the opportunity of discovering and enjoying his entire work through the new on-line agency at www.wakaphotos.com.